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Globalism vs. Ethnonationalism


Standing before the Siegessaule, the Victory Column that commemorates Prussia's triumphs over Denmark, Austria and France in the wars that birthed the Second Reich, Barack Obama declared himself a "citizen of the world" and spoke of "a world that stands as one."

Globalists rejoiced. And the election of this son of a white teenager from Kansas and a black academic from Kenya is said to have ushered us into the new "post-racial" age.

Are we deluding ourselves? Worldwide, the mightiest force of the 20th century, ethnonationalism — that creator and destroyer of nations and empires; that enduring drive of peoples for a nation-state where their faith and culture is dominant and their race or tribe is supreme — seems more manifest than ever.

"Vote Reflects Racial Divide" ran the banner in The Washington Times over Tuesday's story datelined, "Santa Cruz, Bolivia." It began:

"The Bolivian vote to approve a new constitution backed by leftist President Evo Morales reflected racial divisions between the nation's Indian majority and those with European ancestry."

Provinces where mestizo and Europeans predominate voted down the constitution. But it carried with huge majorities the Indian tribes of the western highlands, for this constitution is about group rights.

In 2005, Morales came to office resolved to redistribute wealth and power away from Europeans to his own Aymara tribe and other "indigenous peoples" he contends were robbed by the Europeans who began to arrive 500 years ago, in the time of Columbus.

Pizarro's victory over the Incan Empire is to be overturned.

According to Article 190 of the new constitution, Bolivia's 36 Indian areas are authorized to "exercise their jurisdictional functions through their own principles, values, culture, norms and procedures."

Tribal law is to become provincial law, and national law.

Gov. Mario Cossio of Tarija, which voted no, says the new constitution will create a "totalitarian regime," controlled through an "ethnically based bureaucracy." To which Morales replies, "Original Bolivians who have been here for a thousand years are many but poor. Recently arrived Bolivians are few but rich."

Bolivia is Balkanizing, dividing up and being divided on the lines of tribe, race and class. And, hailed by Hugo Chavez, Morales' Bolivia is not the only place where the claims of ethnicity, tribe and race are conquering the forces of universalism and globalism.

After a disputed election in Kenya, the Kikyu were subjected to ethnic cleansing and massacres by Luo. In Zimbabwe, white farmers are being dispossessed due to their ancestry.

In Sri Lanka, the Tamil rebellion against the ruling Sinhalese — to create a Tamil nation, a war that has cost tens of thousands of lives — appears lost, for now.

In Vladimir Putin's time, Russians have crushed Chechens, confronted Estonians over Russian military graves and war memorials, collided with Ukrainians over the Crimea and bloodied up the Georgians.

Beijing crushes the Uighurs who want their own East Turkestan and Tibetans who seek autonomy, flooding both lands with Han Chinese.

In Europe, populist anti-immigrant parties, alarmed at a loss of national identities, are striding toward respectability and power. The Vlaams Belang, seeking independence for Flanders, is the biggest party in the Belgian parliament. The Peoples Party and Freedom Party are now Austria's second and third most popular. The Swiss People's Party of Christoph Blocher is the largest in Bern. In France, the National Front humiliated the government this week, winning over half the vote in a suburb of Marseilles.

All are unabashedly ethnonationalist. Writes British diplomat Sir Christopher Meyer, "It is useless to say that nationalism and ethnic tribalism have no place in the international relations of the 21st century."

Meanwhile, global institutions, the United Nations, IMF and European Union, have lost their luster. Czechs — whose president, Vaclav Klaus, regards the EU as a prison house of nations — hold the EU presidency. When the financial crisis hit, Irish, Brits and Germans rushed to bail out their own banks, as did Americans, who rescued Ford, Chrysler and GM, leaving Toyota, Hyundai and Honda twisting in the wind.

This is economic nationalism.

Inside Ehud Olmert's cabinet, a rising star is Avigdor Lieberman. What Lieberman's "merry men" advocate, writes the American Prospect, is "ethnic cleansing: As the creepy name (which translates into 'Our Home Is Israel') suggests, Yisrael Beiteinu believes the million-plus Arab citizens of Israel must be expelled."

Barack won the African-American vote 97 percent to 3 percent over John McCain, and 90 percent to 10 percent over Hillary Clinton in the later primaries. McCain ran stronger than George W. Bush only in Appalachia, the laager of the Scots-Irish.

In Jerry Z. Muller's "Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism," in Foreign Affairs, his thesis is summarized:

"Americans generally belittle the role of ethnic nationalism in politics. But ... it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit. It is galvanized by modernization, and ... it will drive global politics for generations to come. Once ethnic nationalism has captured the imagination of groups in a multiethnic society, ethnic disaggregation or partition is often the least bad answer."

Disaggregation or partition, the man said.

Are we really in a post-racial America, or is our multicultural multiethnic America, too, destined for Balkanization and break-up?

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... You are not the first, and you will not be the last to warn the world about democracy.... It is easy to say we have it; but sometimes you see where people get democracy, and the first thing they do is attack some entrenched and united minority that has been feeding off the majority, and acting against their interests... You should look at history; because civilization has always begun with conquest, and usually ended with revolution... There were more than two classes in Greece, and more than two in Rome... We have our natural law from the law of nations formulated by Rome which first put forward the notion that all nations are equal... Then why and how can one nation† rule another??? It is through a mechanism of law enforcing unequal rights... The first victim of Western Law, which is our model for world domination, is the community...When people realize they can no longer count on their communities for justice they unburden themselves of the obligation and sacrifice that community represents... You have decried tribalism, and recently so... Consider sir; that tribalism is a lesson taught by a society that denies justice through law...Abalard said: Ius (Justice) is the genus, and Lex (Law) is a species of it...The obvious conclusion that even the most uniformed pedestrian can draw, is that law that is not justice is only coercion... And this nation, like nations around the world, is increasingly held together by coercion...We do not really have democracy...Ou r law does not deliver justice... The less of democracy we have the less of justice...And it is all well and good to say people are created equal...No one accepts it, and the law does not enforce it... Our law allows property to grade the value of people, and leaves the wealthy as a class free to decide how they will be governed, and by what laws... It is societies such as our own, governed by our conception of Western Law that first teach tribalism, when people realize that if they do not bond with others, and form support communities, they will be wiped out, and destroyed... Revolution grows out of injustice,† but war does as well...People denied justice in their own lands, when they cannot break free of law, will† break international law instead...No people in Europe has had such a long history of law, and none has been so war like as the Germans...You look now, when the world economy breaks down, and see the power of law to restrain people break down too... People know the use and power of democracy when they discover the necessity and strength of community... The modern nation state is built of law over the rubble of community... The law cannot triumph completely... To triumph would pull out its foundation, in the form of the family...But everywhere the power of family is weak and limited, and as it weakens, the power of tribes grows... There is no reason on this earth that anyone in a democracy should have to join an organization, a labor union, or an association to have justice... There is no reason anyone should have to club, or clique, or gang with others for respect, or self defense...† It is only because our model society, which we have propagated with the British around the world -does not work, and will not give justice that people must rediscover community...Our society, Western Society, following the model of the Catholic Church -puts peace before justice where justice can be denied forever... Unfortunately, people cannot live without justice...We only make an issue of it because we cannot live without it... Lack of justice kills people, and it is happening here, and around the world... When strangers come around, distinct, and identifiable; whether it be the Jews, or the Chinese, or the Indians, or the Koreans, or White folks, and they prey upon native populations, and do so under the protection of law then their days, and the days of law are numbered... They can do it while law can protect inequality, and injustice, and beyond that point they will be despoiled....Thanks....Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:18 AM
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